Entertainment

The Best Political Thriller Movies 

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Updated February 21, 2020 7k votes 1.1k voters 206.6k views 135 items

List Rules Vote for your personal favorite political thriller films, regardless of how popular or successful they were at the box office.

A list of all the best political thriller movies ever made, many of which are streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. To see which of your favorites are currently streaming along with other great dramas, check out The Best Dramas on Amazon Prime and the The Best Drama Films on Netflix Instant

This political thriller movie list can be sorted by cast, year, director, and more. This list of political thriller films also contains political thriller movie titles that can be clicked on for more information about the film. This political thriller films list can also be copied to start your own. This list, though, contains the best political thriller movies of all time, as voted on by fans of the films This political thriller movie list can be sorted by alphabetically, by director, by year and more, but is currently ordered from best to worst. What's your favorite item on this list? Upvote it and a few more you like to see your opinions impact the order.

List of political thriller films includes political movie titles that can be clicked on for more information about the film. Re-rank this entire page then share it to see what your friends think.

These are the top films in the political thriller genre, meaning that each and every one of these is a movie with at least a single element of the political thriller genre in it. Be it the motifs of the political thriller genre or just some of the most common archetypes.

These are definitely all of the political thrillers out there, including some of the worst and best recent political thrillers and some are a great example of a good American political thriller. Though political thrillers are often about America, there are a few fun foreign political thrillers on here too.  

List includes choices like Category 7: The End of the World and The Deal so that if you care about this subject, you can vote on at least one thing. If we missed any political thriller movies on this list, please add them to the list yourself, as this is an open list which means you can add any movies whenever you like (choices are subject to moderation). The films on this list cover the most famous political thriller movies of all time and are voted on by people who really care about political thriller movie lists.

You can find the release information for any of the films listed below. It's often available in the data set, so you can even find the cast of some of these by clicking on the names of the political thriller movies. List includes photos and political thriller movie trailers next to the names of the movies.

These movies, like The Odessa File and The Little Drummer Girl include images when available.

Whether you're at home and want to watch these political thriller movies on DVD, streaming Blu-ray or streaming, or if you're seeing them in theatres for the first time, this is a list of good political thriller movies that can be helpful in either situation to see where they all stack up. So from the latest, to the greatest political thriller movies, here is the full political thriller movies list, ordered from best to worst.

Plenty of well-known directors have been associated with Political thriller films, including Steven Spielberg and Roman Polanski.

list ordered by
1
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Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Max von Sydow

Released: 1975

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 American political thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson, and Max von Sydow. The screenplay by ...more
2
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Ulrich Tukur, Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck

Released: 2006

Directed by: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, about the monitoring of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the ...more
3
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Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

Released: 1962

Directed by: John Frankenheimer

The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 American Cold War suspense thriller directed by John Frankenheimer that stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh and co-stars Angela Lansbury, ...more
4
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Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

Released: 1988

Directed by: Alan Parker

Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the incidents involving of three ...more
5
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Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, John Lithgow

Released: 1993

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula

The Pelican Brief is a 1993 legal thriller based on the novel of the same name by John Grisham. Directed by Alan J. Pakula, the film stars Julia Roberts in the role of young law student Darby ...more
6
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Alec Baldwin, Sean Connery, Tim Curry

Released: 1990

Directed by: John McTiernan

The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American submarine spy-thriller film directed by John McTiernan, based on the 1984 novel by Tom Clancy. In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine ...more
7
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Brad Pitt, Robert Redford, Charlotte Rampling

Released: 2001

Directed by: Tony Scott

Spy Game is a 2001 American spy film directed by Tony Scott and starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. The film grossed $62 million in the United States and $143 million worldwide and received ...more
8
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Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo

Released: 1993

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

In the Line of Fire is a 1993 American action thriller film directed by Wolfgang Petersen, and starring Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich. Written by Jeff Maguire, the film is about a ...more
9
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Daniel Craig, Eric Bana, Geoffrey Rush

Released: 2005

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Munich is a 2005 historical drama and political thriller film based on Operation Wrath of God, the Israeli government's secret retaliation against the Palestine Liberation Organization after the ...more
10
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Derek Jacobi, Edward Fox, Donald Sinden

Released: 1973

Directed by: Fred Zinnemann

The Day of the Jackal is a 1973 Anglo-French thriller film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Edward Fox and Michael Lonsdale. Based on the 1971 novel The Day of the Jackal by Frederick ...more
11
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Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, James Earl Jones

Released: 1994

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

Clear and Present Danger is a 1994 spy action thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce, based on Tom Clancy's book of the same name. It was preceded by the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October and ...more
12
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Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones

Released: 1992

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

Patriot Games is a 1992 action-suspense film directed by Phillip Noyce and based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October, but with ...more
13
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Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Gary Oldman

Released: 2011

Directed by: Tomas Alfredson

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 2011 espionage film directed by Tomas Alfredson. The screenplay was written by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, based on the 1974 novel of the same name by ...more
14
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Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Chip Esten

Released: 2000

Directed by: Roger Donaldson

Thirteen Days is a 2000 American historical drama-thriller film directed by Roger Donaldson Kevin Costner stars, with Bruce Greenwood featured as President John F. Kennedy, Steven Culp as ...more
15
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Will Smith, Jack Black, Gene Hackman

Released: 1998

Directed by: Tony Scott

Enemy of the State is a 1998 American spy-thriller about a group of rogue U.S. National Security Agency agents conspiring to take out a U.S. Congressman and try to cover up. It was written by ...more
16
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Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe

Released: 2009

Directed by: Kevin Macdonald

State of Play is a 2009 political thriller film. It is an adaptation of the six-part British television serial of the same name which first aired on BBC One in 2003. The plot of the six-hour ...more
17
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Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Hugo Weaving

Released: 2005

Directed by: James McTeigue

V for Vendetta is a 2006 American political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowski Brothers, based on the 1988 Vertigo graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore ...more
18
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George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet

Released: 2005

Directed by: Stephen Gaghan

Syriana is a 2005 geopolitical thriller film written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, and executive produced by George Clooney, who also stars in the film with an ensemble cast. Gaghan's ...more
19
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CordvonLimburg added Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster

Released: 1964

Directed by: John Frankenheimer

Seven Days in May is a 1964 drama-romance film written by Fletcher Knebel, Charles W. Bailey II and Rod Serling and directed by John Frankenheimer.
20
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Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock

Released: 1946

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Notorious is a 1946 American spy thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains as three people whose lives become intimately ...more
21
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Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, Kim Cattrall

Released: 2010

Directed by: Roman Polanski

The Ghost Writer is 2010 thriller film written by Robert Harris and Roman Polanski and directed by Roman Polanski.
22
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Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss, Hume Cronyn

Released: 1974

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula

The Parallax View is a 1974 American political thriller film directed and produced by Alan J. Pakula, and starring Warren Beatty, Hume Cronyn, William Daniels and Paula Prentiss. The film was ...more
23
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Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Jacques Perrin

Released: 1969

Directed by: Costa-Gavras

Z is a 1969 Algerian French language political thriller directed by Costa-Gavras, with a screenplay by Gavras and Jorge Semprún, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Vassilis ...more
24
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Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron

Released: 1982

Directed by: Costa-Gavras

Missing is a 1982 American drama film directed by Costa-Gavras, starring Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron, John Shea, and Charles Cioffi. It is based on the true story of American ...more
25
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Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman

Released: 1964

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

Fail-Safe is a 1964 Cold thriller film directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The film features performances by veteran actors ...more